The benefits of a regular Pilates practice go way beyond a lean beach body and 6-pack abs. For its creator Mr. Joseph Pilates, his method was created out of a quest to improve his overall health in a holistic way that went beyond what could be achieved with traditional strength-training methods. Regular practice of Pilates can help understand your body and connect to it in a way that is profoundly deep and intuitive. The better you can understand and connect to your body, the easier it is to prevent injury and push your body to limits you otherwise may not have thought of!
Helps with back pain
- Regular practice of Pilates is a safe and sustainable way to help keep your back pain-free and strong. Pilates focuses on core strength but is also a well-balanced exercise system. Full body strength and balance is a critical component for life-long back health – something that isn’t always addressed in traditional back pain rehabilitation programs or strength-training regimens
Strengthens more than just your core
- Pilates is known as the staple of core training, but it doesn’t stop there. Pilates strengthens your arms, glutes, hips, and legs in a way that helps them to not only be strong but work together in a balanced and coordinated fashion.
Improves flexibility and mobility
- People use these terms synonymously but they are actually quite different. Flexibility refers to muscle length and pliability. Mobility refers to joint range of motion. Flexibility without mobility is useless, you need a balance of strength and flexibility to optimize mobility. Pilates emphasizes continuous, slow, and precise movements through a large range of mobility. This allows you to work on both strength and flexibility simultaneously and thus your mobility as well.
Puts minimal stress on your joints
- Aging increases the risk of developing arthritis. The key to combating arthritis is optimizing the area around the affected joint or joints. When you have good mobility, and balanced strength, you have fewer compressive forces on your joints. Arthritis will not develop in compressed, crowded joints. So when you strengthen and stretch your whole body in a good, balanced way – arthritis becomes less painful and stiff. Pilates helps with all this while not causing any added stress on your joints in the meantime.
Trains your nervous system
- Your nervous system is responsible for conducting messages from your brain to your muscles. If that’s not in-tune – you could develop compensations and inefficient movement patterns that eventually lead to pain and injury. Pilates emphasizes precise and coordinated movements, which enhances and reinforces this brain-to-muscle connection. You can’t just go through the motions when you do Pilates. You have to use your brain and really concentrate on what you’re doing. This helps to train your nervous system, resulting in smoother and more coordinated movements. It can better your balance as well.
If you’re not yet incorporating Pilates into your fitness routine or everyday life, what are you waiting for? There are so many benefits and it’s an accessible exercise system that will prevent many issues that come with aging.
Written by GUADS intern Sara with contributions from (https://www.seacoastonline.com/)